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Collage of fish and biologists

The Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries is responsible for the protection and management of the aquatic resources in the state's 26,000 miles of freshwater streams and over 400 public lakes. These diverse resources include habitat and fisheries resources in waters from small, coldwater streams in the northwest to tidal rivers along the state's borders including seasonal migrations of anadromous fish.

To meet management goals and assure the long term protection of the state's aquatic resources, fisheries biologists conduct fishery surveys on the state's freshwater lakes and streams, propose surface water classifications and provide technical input on a multitude of land use, watershed, and habitat based issues.

The Bureau also includes the operation of the Division's Pequest Trout Hatchery and Hackettstown State Fish Hachery, coordinating the distribution of 16 species of fish. More than 2,000,000 fish are stocked annually in over 250 waterbodies located throughout the state, providing superior angling opportunities.

Additionally, the bureau also facilitates habitat restoration projects and serves as a liaison to a variety of forums concerning the status of the state's fishery resources. The bureau, in coordination with the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, establishes season and daily creel limits for freshwater fish species. It also administers permits for fish stocking, water lowering, commercial harvests, and scientific collecting to further provide for the effective management and protection of the state's aquatic resources.

For more efficient management of aquatic resources, the state is divided into seven regional management areas. In addition to administering to these regional responsibilities, each fisheries biologist has a specific area of expertise and oversees related research and management projects.

The bureau is funded by New Jersey sportsmen, through the sale of fishing licenses and permits and through a Federal excise tax on the manufacturing fishing related equipment. Federal excise tax money is distributed through the Sport Fish Restoration Program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Freshwater Fishing In New Jersey
NEW: New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Explorer

Fisheries Management
Management Highlights Biologist Information Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program
Coolwater Fisheries Assessments Wild Trout Regulation Assessment Classification of NJ Waters
Warmwater Surveys Lake Trout Assessment Stream Temperature Monitoring
Surface Water Classification Trout Stocking Program USGS Stream Gauge Data
Coldwater Fisheries Plan   Lake Management Plans

Freshwater Fisheries Resources
Fishes of New Jersey Native Fishes of New Jersey Wild Trout
Fish Fact Sheets Fish Health Salmon
Fisheries Forums Lake Survey Maps Aquatic Invasive Species
Freshwater Fishing

Regulations and Permits
Permit Information
Warmwater/Coolwater Regulations Freshwater Digest Fish Code
Trout Regulations Snapping Turtles Baitfish Regulations
Boundary Waters Regulations


Electro Fishing
Fall Trout Stocking
Lake Trout Monitoring
Rainbow Trout Spawning
Salmon Stocking At Merrill Creek (November, 2019, courtesy Jane Bullis, MCR)
Walleye Production
Winter Trout Stocking

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2021
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: May 17, 2021